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France

Heatwave depresses French wine production

media Feeling the heat: there'll be less wine this year because of hailstones and the heatwave. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

Wine production in France this year will be down by between 6 and 13 percent compared to 2018, notably because of the ongoing heatwave, the agriculture ministry has said.

France, one of the world's top wine producers and exporters, was hit hard by poor weather conditions, including a heatwave at the end of June.

That and other factors meant that production should be between 42.8 and 46.4 million hectolitres -- the lowest figures in the last five years, said the ministry, based on estimates drawn up on 12 July.

Unfavourable weather conditions hit the flowering of the vine, particularly in the western wine regions of France, such as Loire valley, Charente and Bordeaux.

In southern France, the heatwave broke records, with temperatures in some places as high as 46 degrees Celsius.

The heat damage meant lost production in three southern regions, the ministry added.

Hailstorms also affected some vines but they did less damage nationally.

Another heatwave has been forecast for most of France in the coming week.

France, along with Spain and Italy, is one of the world's top three wine producers and exporters, according to industry figures released last week.

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